The expected cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is to exclude all prominent members of the former ruling National Democratic Party, sources close the deliberations say. The sources said it was now a certainty that four especially reviled ministers who had been leading members of the defunct NDP are to be dismissed from the cabinet. They are minister of justice, Mamdouh Marei, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mufid Shehab, Minister of Manpower, Aisha Abdel-Hady and minister of petroleum, Sameh Fahmi.
The reshuffle will also include filling at three of the four cabinet posts, which had been emptied since the formation of the Shafiq-led cabinet, in what was the Mubarak régime’s first concession to the 25 January Revolution. These are the culture, education and tourism portfolios. It is not yet confirmed whether the information portfolio will be filled, or abolished altogether, as post-revolution public opinion has been demanding, on the grounds that a minister of information belongs only in a dictatorship and has no place in a democracy.
Prominent among the names whispered to have accepted cabinet posts in the new “national unity” cabinet is that of Munir Abdel-Nour, a leading member of the liberal Wafd Party and a prominent Copt.
The yet to be revealed cabinet reshuffle comes directly on the heels of the Friday of Victory and Continuity, in which an estimated 3 million Egyptians gathered in downtown Cairo and in other cities around the country, demanding that full realization of the revolution’s goals, the ousting of the government, and the formation of a national unity government that does not include any members of the erstwhile ruling NDP.